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Words, power, control...

There is an Icelandic saying or belief or something that we each have a pre-determined number of words to use in our lifetime and once we've used up our quota, we die.

The idea is that you should use your words frugally and with discretion.

I can't say I've lived by this value.

Today though, and more and more recently, I've been confronted with the fact that my words are no good.  The people who mean the most to me don't listen to my words.  I think maybe it is because I flood my environment with words and so my words have less value - there are always so many of them about.

I've wondered on and off if I should have days of silence once a week, or maybe for a week at time, as a sort of cleansing, or detox or something.  Maybe then I could learn to choose my words more carefully and make them more valuable to people?

Words also carry a certain amount of power.  The words we choose and the way we intonate them cause make or break a conversation or the passing on of an idea.  I don't think I use my words powerfully...

But that brings me to another topic that has been playing on my mind a lot lately.  The issue of control.  I'm a self-confessed control freak.  I try not to be because I've long realised that I have no REAL control over anything in my life.  There are always variables I can't plan for and always elements I cannot control - try as I might.

Our society at this point in time is obsessed with control.  Not being controlled, have self-control, or having control over others and one's environment.  It's pretty much all people talk about.  Freedom of expression is about control.  Anything to do with money is about control.  Relationships for the most part are about control.  Women want to control their lives and get from under the oppressive control of men.  Parents want to control their children - even when they are trying to protect them from the control of outside influences.  We want to control our weight, our births, ourselves.

It's a constant struggle for control.

And for me words are a big part of that.

Maybe if I stop producing words - maybe even just spoken words - I can let go of the need to control, the hope of controlling, my environment.

Maybe I'll live longer if I speak less...

Comments

What an interesting and thoughtful post. Not sure - but I guess monks and others used to take vows of silence for a reason. I speaking fast - interesting concept!!

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